2018 was a busy year for exploration of space. Here are some highlights:
MARS LANDER'S SEVEN MINUTES OF TERROR
NASA's Mars InSight Lander hit the Red Planet on November 26 after a six-month epic journey of more than 300 million kilometers. The final leg of their descent, however, was fraught with difficulties – NASA engineers described the landing on Mars as "seven minutes of terror."
Safely settled on the surface of the planet, lunar sensors have recently captured the "sounds" of the Martian winds for the first time. The probe also used a camera on its robotic arm to take its first Mars selfie.
NASA'S INSIGHT MARS COUNTRY COMES TO THE RED PLANET, ENDS SUCCESSFUL JOURNEY
The InSight mission, managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, will provide scientists with a wealth of data. Examining the deep interior of Mars, the mission is expected to provide valuable information about the formation of rocky worlds, including Earth.
Mars is getting bigger and bigger in America's space future.
In November, NASA announced that it had opted for the space alliance. The place where the Mars 2020 Rover will land on the Red Planet. The rover is expected to reach the Martian surface on February 1
NASA's long-term goal is to send a manned mission to Mars in the 2030s. Former astronaut Buzz Aldrin, however, considers a somewhat later target date of 2040 to be more realistic. In an interview in 2016, the Gemini 12 and the Apollo 11 astronaut told Fox News that by 2040 astronauts could have visited the moon moon Phobos, which could serve as a springboard for the Red Planet.
MASSIVE MARS DISCOVERY
NASA's Mars Rover Curiosity Mars found organic molecules on Mars, as the space agency revealed in a big announcement in June.
The molecules found in rocks on an old lake bed give new insights into the red planet, according to scientists. The rocks are billions of years old, NASA said.
While NASA did its best not to discover life on Mars, organic molecules could provide important clues.
MASSIVE MARS DISCOVERY: ORGANIC "MOLECULES 'FOUNDATIONS FOR OUR LOOK AFTER LIFE" FOUND BY NASA ROVER
"Organic compounds are fundamental to our search for life," said Paul Mahaffy, director Solar System Research Department at Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA, Goddard, MD.
Described as the most technically advanced rover of all time, Curiosity launched on November 26, 2011. The rover landed on August 6, 2012 at Gale Crater on Mars, with the goal of determining if Mars can ever support microbial life ,
RENDEZVOUS WITH ASTEROID BENNU
NASA's OSIRIS-REx, which stands for Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security Regolith Explorer, reached its orbit on December 3 after Atraloid Bennu's orbit more than 1 billion Kilometers through space. Launched in September 2016, the spacecraft from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
According to NASA, the asteroid could provide answers to the origin of our solar system.
OSIRIS-REx will spend nearly a year monitoring orbital space rock. The probe will briefly touch the asteroid in July 2020 with a robotic arm and retrieve a sample that will be sent back to Earth in September 2023.
NASA'S OSIRIS-REX SPACECRAFT REACHES ASTEROID BENNU TO EPIC JOURNEY
Scientists have recently made a mesmerizing discovery on the asteroid. They analyzed the data from the probe and found that water was trapped in the sound of the asteroid. The spacecraft's two spectrometers revealed the presence of "hydroxyl groups," molecules that combine oxygen and hydrogen atoms.
Other countries are also trying to investigate asteroids. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's (JAXA) Hayabusa 2 spacecraft recently lowered two small rovers to a distant asteroid. Hayabusa 2 arrived in Ryugu on June 27, 2018, when the asteroid was nearly 170 million miles from Earth. The spacecraft, which traveled nearly two billion kilometers to reach space rock, is expected to leave Ryugu in late 2019 and return to Earth towards the end of 2020.
DRAMATIC LAUNCH ESCAPE
On October 1st. 11, NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin made a dramatic escape after their Soyuz booster rocket had failed just two minutes after the launch of the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
The spacecraft was located about 30 miles above the Earth's surface when the crew was forced to make a dangerous "ballistic reentry" into the Earth's atmosphere. After the successful use of the parachute, the escape pod landed safely in the steppes of Kazakhstan about 30 minutes after the missile failure.
A Russian investigation attributed the failure to a sensor that was damaged during the final assembly of the rocket.
US RUSSIAN ASTRONAUTS MAKING ROCKET-FAILS
DANGEROUS BALLISTIC RECOVERY IN EARTH'S ATMOSPHERE
. Less than two months later, a Russian Soyuz spacecraft has successfully docked three astronauts, including an American space station. The launch from Kazakhstan was the first successful manned mission in the space laboratory since the departure of Soyuz.
The Soyuz spacecraft is currently the only vehicle capable of carrying crews to the space station, but Russia will lose this monopoly in the coming period years after the arrival of the Dragon and Boeing's Starliner crew capsules.
MYSTERIOUS STATE LEAKAGE LEAK
The leak was discovered on August 30 in a Russian Soyuz spacecraft connected to the Orbiting Space Laboratory. The crew quickly found and sealed the tiny hole that caused a slight pressure drop, and the space officers said the station was still safe.
The leakage of the capsules caused a flap between the US and Russian space agencies. Russian space chief Dmitry Rogozin noted that the hole could have been drilled during manufacturing or in orbit. The commander of the space station denied at this time sweeping all wrongdoing of himself or his crew.
SPACE STATION CREW TO INSPECT MYSTERIOUS VILLAGE ON SPACEWALK
The Russian space chief has since resigned on his testimony that he never said pointing his finger at American astronauts and blamed the media for doing so his statement had twisted.
Recently, Rogozin said the Russian official investigation is in progress. During a grueling spacewalk in December, Russian cosmonauts sampled the black epoxy sealant sticking out of the hole and isolated the area. Roscosmos will discuss the results of the probes with NASA and other space station partners, says Rogozin.
NASA Announces Moon, Mars Mission Partner
In November, NASA announced that Lockheed Martin and eight other companies will compete for $ 2.6 billion worth of contracts to help American astronauts to bring back to the moon and Mars. In addition to Lockheed, the lander of Mars InSight, NASA's commercial partners include Astrobotic Technology, Deep Space Systems, Draper, Firefly, Intuitive Machines and Masts Space Systems, Moon Express and Orbit Beyond.
The contracts could amount to as much as $ 2.6 billion over a 10-year period and flights could begin next year, authorities said. The original list included more than 30 competing companies, including SpaceX by Elon Musk and Blue Origin by Jeff Bezos.
NASA SAYS LOCKHEED MARTIN, 8 OTHER COMPANIES BRING ASTRONAUTS BACK TO THE MOON AND MARS
President Donald Trump wants American astronauts to return to the Moon as the basis for future Mars missions.
The last time a human entered the Moon was during the Apollo 17 mission in December 1972. Only 12 men, all Americans, set foot on the moon.
NASA's goal is also to send manned missions from the United States into space in the coming years. Since the departure of the space shuttle in 2011, the US is leaving the Russian case rockets from Soyuz to bring astronauts to the ISS.
In August, NASA also named nine "American Heroes" astronauts who will occupy the US occupation. Test flights and first space station will provide missions on the SpaceX Crew Dragon and Boeing CST-100 Starliner.
PARKER SOLAR PROBES EPIC JOURNEY & # 39; TOUCH THE SUN & # 39;
The NASA Parker solar probe will be fired on its Odyssey at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on a United Launch Alliance Delta IV gravity rocket early in the morning of 12 August 2018.
The $ 1.5 billion Mission will bring humanity closer to the sun than ever before. Parker is the first spaceship that flies through the corona of the sun, the outermost part of the star's atmosphere.
To withstand the heat of nearly 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit, the probe is protected by a special 4.5-inch carbon composite shield. 19659004] NASA'S PARKER SOLAR SAMPLE BLAST ON EPIC JOURNEY TO TOUCH THE SUN
Parker will be exposed to "brutal" heat and radiation during the epic journey that takes him within 3.83 million miles to the Sun. Bring sun surface. according to the space agency. This is seven times closer than the previous, nearest spacecraft Helios 2, which was just under 27 million kilometers away from the Sun in 1976.
Parker will harness the gravity of Venus and will complete seven fly-bys in seven years to bring her orbit closer to the sun. At its closest approach in 2024, the probe will travel at a speed of approximately 430,000 miles per hour, setting a new speed record for an artificial object.
The sun's corona, seen during a total eclipse, is usually hidden by the bright light of the stellar surface. The probe, named after the groundbreaking solar physicist dr. Eugene Parker, will provide a wealth of invaluable scientific data.
Scientists believe that the sun's potential to disrupt satellites and spacecraft, as well as electronics and communications on Earth, is shedding new light.
In November, the probe made a stunning picture of the sun's atmosphere.
& # 39; SUPER-EARTH & # 39; DISCOVERY
In March, scientists announced the discovery of 15 new planets, including a "super-earth" "that may have liquid water on its surface.
The planets revolve around small, cool stars near our solar system, One of the brightest red dwarfs, K2-155, has three "super-earths", one of which, K2-155d, could be in the star's habitable zone.
K2-155d, whose radius is 1.6 times the Earth's radius, can accommodate liquid water after three-dimensional global climate simulations.
K2-155 is about 200 light-years from Earth. A light year that measures the distance in space equals 6 trillion miles.
PLANETS IN GALAXIES IN A MILITARY MANNER FOR THE FIRST TIME
In February, the discovery of planets for the first time revealed galaxies beyond the Milky Way.
A University of Oklahoma astrophysicist team identified the data from the extragalactic planets at about 3.8 billion light-years from data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. The space observatory helped scientists find around 2,000 objects of similar mass as the Moon and Jupiter.
The Oklahoma University team used a technique called microlenses that identifies the gravitational signature of planets orbiting extremely distant stars.
MYSTERIOUS INTERSTELLAR OBJECT
Oumuamua, the first interstellar object ever discovered in our solar system, attracted much attention in 2018. NASA said Oumuamua was a "metallic or rocky object," while a study by the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics speculated
Chris Ciaccia, Jennifer Earl of Fox News, Amy Lieu and the Associated Press, contributed to this article. Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers